South Sydney Squad 2009South Sydney certainly boast an impressive roster of forwards, but the introduction of Gordon Tallis as a consultant in 2009 looks to be a masterstroke.

With the largest number of assistants and coaching staff in the NRL including the respected John Lang and former Cricket Medic Errol Allcott, many felt the role of Tallis could be diluted or may not have the desired affect – however this seems a long way from the truth.

After only a handful of games and most recently the Charity Shield outing, Souths forwards have certainly made their physical presence felt. Maybe the man they called the Raging Bull is successfully transferring some of his raw passion and aggression into the Bunnies pack.

There is no questioning the ability of Asotasi, Stuart, Kidwell and co – all powerful players in their own right, but going by the weekends showing, the boys are certainly taking no prisoners.

“Last year we lacked a lot of grunt in the forward pack,” confirmed captain Roy Asotasi

Asotasi felt some opponents may have even considered them one of the softer packs in the NRL; but how quickly things may have changed.
Up against the new look Dragons who had previously dominated in pre-season, the Bunnies unleashed their full strength squad in the Charity Shield. From the opening whistle, it was one way traffic.

Dragons forward Dean Young confirming afterwards, the Souths forwards were almost impossible to stop. With further development under Tallis, the result could be even more potent.

“They’ve got some big boppers, they’re hard to tackle,” Young confirmed.

It’s believed Russell Crowe may have played a part in luring Tallis to the Bunnies. The former Origin forward having to ditch commitments at the Cowboys to take up the new role.

It seems the words of Tallis may be just as powerful as his training drills at Redfern. With Gordie apparently giving the forwards a final rev up individually before they took the field against the Dragons – the result there for all to see.
Asotasi confirmed afterwards Tallis’ instructions were to unleash more aggression in the match. It might sound simple, but to the gentle giants at Souths – it brought out the beast within.

While happy with the Tallis input, coach Jason Taylor is expecting even more as the NRL season progresses. JT confirming that the motivation more than anything from Tallis will be crucial if his side hits a rough patch.”That’s where I see him coming into his own.” confirmed Taylor.

Looking past the forwards, new buys Rhys Wesser and Colin Best look to be smart gains for 2009. Wesser looking refreshed and enthusiastic as he chimed into the Bunnies backline on Saturday night. Best also continued his strong showing of try scoring form, with a double and some quality touches.

All this talent and they still have the likes of Craig Wing, Michael Greenfield and Beau Champion sitting in the garage. With Wing fit, they have so many options at their disposal and should be able to push opponents all the way.

By ricky

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